The Naval Academy on Sunday posted photos of midshipmen getting tossed into the Severn River. It’s part of a Final Fall Parade tradition, in which plebes chase their company commanders to the river. Once at the dock, the commanders are hoisted up and tossed in.
The temperature topped out in the high-50s over the weekend in Annapolis, Md., so you know that water was cold. The academy posted an album from the day’s festivities on Facebook, with the accompanying description:
Midshipmen marched in the final fall parade of the 2013 season on Friday, October 25. However – this parade did not end as disciplined as usual. As tradition would have it, plebes broke from their ranks the last 200 meters of the parade to chase their Company Commanders and throw them into the Severn River. This tradition dates back nearly 20 years. Throwing the Company leaders into the Severn serves as a celebratory measure, marking the end of the fall parade season.
A few weeks ago, a reader lamented the death of Navy tradition in our pages. The retired lieutenant commander accused the Navy of becoming too politically correct after cracking down on hazing-like behavior associated with advancement ceremonies, crossing the equator and chief season.
But maybe the midshipmen are on to something here.
Is it still hazing if the juniors are tormenting their senior?
Maybe lower enlisted should be allowed to toss their chiefs into the water every now and then for fun. Would that improve morale?